Eastern Ontario in a ‘race against the variants’, says Medical Officer of Health

Eastern Ontario Medical Officer Dr Paul Roumeliotis delivers his COVID-19 Media Briefing.

EASTERN ONTARIO — In his twice-weekly media briefing on March 15th, Medical Officer Dr Paul Roumeliotis provided updates on the latest COVID-19 developments in the region, reporting that there have been 35 new cases of the virus since Friday, March 12th. Six were in Prescott-Russell, six were in SD&G, 21 were in Cornwall, and two were in Akwesasne. There are now fifteen COVID-19 positive patients hospitalized and three patients in the ICU.

There are eight ongoing outbreaks in Eastern Ontario—they are in Woodland Villa, The Palace Long Term Care, Rideau Place, Chartwell McConnell, Baldwin House, Heartwood LTC, and Maxville Manor. Roumeliotis expects the outbreak in Woodland Villa, which was reported on December 27th, to be declared over soon. However, the rising numbers of new COVID-19 cases and the increased presence of the UK variant indicate that Eastern Ontario may go into the Red-Control zone if the trends do not change.

Roumeliotis also reported that there are now 40 variant cases across the region, 39 of which are the UK variant. He stressed the importance of controlling the spread by following health rules and taking precautions, even though the vaccination rollout is in full swing.

The provincial vaccine registration website launched this morning at 8 AM to a few technical difficulties. However, the Doctor assures that it’s just a case of ironing out the kinks. In the meantime, eligible groups may pre-register for vaccination on the EOHU website. If you are a healthcare worker, a staff member or essential caregiver at a long-term care or retirement home, an informal caregiver, an adult recipient of chronic home care, or a member of an Indigenous population living off-reserve aged 55 and over, you can register now for an appointment. Individuals 18 and over living in Akwesasne may also choose to get their vaccinations through the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne Department of Health. Those people are encouraged to call 613-575-2341, extension 3219 or 3247, for more information.

Roumeliotis concluded his vaccination update by reporting that six large mass-immunization sites across Eastern Ontario are continuing to operate smoothly, distributing the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to the last members of Phase 1. As soon as the supply increases, Roumeliotis anticipates being able to vaccinate more people at the sites.


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